NUVO Barely Legal Bash

 

with Hey Hey Melodica and Beta Male

Radio Radio

Feb. 22

Between acts at the NUVO Barely Legal Bash at Radio Radio last week, we tried to cut the head off one of our salespeople. (Fear not, it was a magical guillotine act and all necks left the stage intact.) I’ll leave it to you to insert your own entirely good-natured joke about headless employees or NUVO eating its young. (I kid, I kid — we all love our promo gang and it’s been years since NUVO actually ate any of its young.)

The bands on the bill Friday night represent two sides of the NUVO spirit. Hey Hey Melodica is a generally quiet group, delivering old-school alternative rock (with the occasional burst of fury punctuating sedate performances). By “sedate” I don’t mean narcoleptic, just that they’re from that school of performance that delivers a stripped-down, bare-bones show, with just some guys, their instruments and their music — very much a product of the anti-glam early ’90s. They’re quiet and unassuming, not unlike NUVO on the days when we’re being entirely serious and trying to get the point across.

Beta Male couldn’t possibly be more different. Dynamic and explosive, they gleefully embrace all the excesses of the 1970s and ’80s, a time when the artifice was as important as the content. Wearing police uniforms and tight unitards, David Bowie meets George Michael in this space-age band of lunatics that performed bathed in red light and thick smoke. Beta Male channels the wildest of a full-bore, in-your-face era of music and demand to be listened to and looked at whether you like it or not — NUVO, in short, at its most aggressive and teenage. Appropriately enough, at 18.

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